Education for Sustainability (EFS) is a framework that can be used to engage students in all subjects by using the real-world context of the complex interconnections between the creation of vibrant communities, strong economies, and healthy ecosystems, both locally and globally. It provides useful context for instruction in all areas including social studies, language arts, math, and science, and promotes the development of important 21st century skills such as critical and creative thinking, collaboration, and communication. More specifically, quality education for sustainability is designed so that all students can make sustainable choices in their personal lives and participate in democratic processes leading to what is often called sustainability’s triple bottom line of social equity, environmental health, and economic prosperity (People, Planet, Profit).


Today we understand that these three interconnected elements of sustainability operate on both local and global scales. We must consider how our actions impact both current and future generations in our local and world communities. Education for sustainability offers a way to connect standards across content areas, resulting in an integrated curriculum with opportunities for inquiry and authentic applications. 

EFS teaches systems thinking in all grade levels in developmentally appropriate ways. Students will learn to consider the interrelationships between the different parts of sustainability and can better understand how to diagnose system wide problems and implement appropriate changes. Inquiry-based learning, real world problem-solving, and authentic learning grounded in students’ own communities is integral to EFS. Students who are educated for sustainability understand systems thinking and how economy, equity, and environment are intrinsically interconnected. As adults, they are able to use a systems approach to interpret their experience and help solve societal problems. Sustainability education will be the primary way to transition students to become responsible producers in the economy and stewards of our resources.

Implementation at CCS will be primarily based in the permaculture design principles of sustainability. The ethics and design principles behind the creative design process of permaculture guide us to mimic the highly efficient patterns and relationships in nature.